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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
The Parasite
('Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story')
Plot:
A doubtful professor is made to change his opinions about the might of hypnotism but he believes the hypnotist wants to seduce him.
Episode:
0812
Air Dates:
First Run - April 7, 1978
Repeat - September 7, 1978
Listen:
Rating:
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7 Responses to Episode 0812


A sceptical professor soon develops a strong belief in the power of hypnotism. He thinks the hypnotist is trying to seduce him.

4 to 4 1/2 comments: 1. This show to me is almost "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tips his hat to Elspeth Eric". Indeed, Doyle lived way before and never knew the latter (with her slow, psychodramatic love stories on the RMT) but it almost feels like he honors her here albeit with his signature flair, detail and edginess..."The Parasite" is essentially a one-sided love affair. Sir Arthur made some wonderful non-Sherlock Holmes short stories. 2. There have been several well-done vampire tales on the RMT. This show is a variation on that theme, where instead of gobbling blood the antagonist goes after (for lack of a better phrase) the life force of her paramour. The RMT had one other similar tale - the downbeat, somewhat-strangely-named "The 800 pound gorilla" starring Mandel Kramer, Earl Hammond and Teri Keane. In that story everyone we cared about bit the dust. I liked this show better, and it had some humor to it (listen, for example, to Rose's fellow educator discuss his classroom antics while "under the spell"). (And one of my favorite moments is at the very beginning of the first act, right after E.G. says the words "Gilbert...Gilroy") 3. That's when one of the best. RMT. Music beds. EVER. sounds. It's a shrill, almost off-key piccolo alongside a glockenspiel or other mallet instrument chime, joined seconds later by a bass or contra-bass clarinet* beneath hitting what I think is the lowest "A" note possible, followed moments later by an oboe and bassoon. It's essentially a gothic woodwind quartet, playing an ominous, sinister sound that so well sets the listener on edge. Which is why it's such a good counterpoint to... 4. Norman Rose in a jaunty, victorian, educated, accomplished-but-not-quite-arrogant voice responding "Professor Gilbert Gilroy, if you please. I've worked hard for that distinction." Just because one was doing a monologue on the RMT didn't necessarily mean one's character was going to make it through the episode. However, the slight smile in Rose's voice is, without going any further, reassuring - especially alongside the aforementioned music. Not the most action-packed, but a fun listen regardless, IMO. * I believe a case could be made, were one ever to ask "What was the favorite instrument of the composers of the CBS/Twilight Zone/RMT music", that the answer would appear to be "bass clarinet". From the long soliloquy on the signature RMT theme to several music interludes both jazzy and sinister, this instrument was lovingly used with frequency. Makes me almost want to learn to play it. ")

Great analysis of the musical score of the various episodes. The music on RMT was first-rate and was used to great success in enhancing the storytelling. They generally knew the best "bed" to use in a given scene. You mentioned in another thread "The Vampire Plant" ( a great episode!) and in it-- the music is utterly chilling and really helps "cement" that tale in your memory. It seems to me, during the earlier days of T.V.-- producers, directors, creators,etc. really saw music as an important an element as any other in the construction of their productions (ie.:the script, character development, special effects, etc.) and they went to great lengths to create moving and memorable scores. Just listen to the soundtracks of the original "TreK" or "Twilight Zone". Today, it seems as if the music in T.V. episodes is merely an afterthought. Perhaps, because many of the early T.V. "people" got their start on radio-- they were more in "tune" to this concept. By the way, do you have a musical background? You do a great job of "deciphering" which instruments are being utilized. (In most cases, I haven't a clue-- But I do appreaciate the musical soundtracks tremendously). Until next time..........

I believe most of the CBSRMT music comes from the Twilight Zone, which had sizable soundtrack contributions from Bernard Hermann (Citizen Kane, Vertigo, Taxi Driver) and Jerry Goldsmith (Planet of the Apes, Chinatown, Alien, Poltergeist) which would help explain the very high quality of the background music.

They used to sell a plastic spaceship model in 1968 or 1969, called the "Leif Erickson". Included in it was a paper record, called "The Sounds of Space", that lasts about 3-4 minutes. You were supposed to listen to it while you built the model, I guess. Well, mid-way through the recording, is some of the CBSRMT score. The prose of the record is really awful, but bear with it. Halfway through, you'll hear what I'm talking about. Warning - the record is terrible. As bad as William Shatner singing "Strawberry Fields Forever." I thought that it was awful when I was 8 years old, and that's saying something.

I just started reading the Annotated Sherlock Holmes stories, released a few years ago, and around the same time I listened to this episode. In the introduction to the book, it is noted that Doyle wrote around 200 short stories, if memory serves. And the main character in The Lost World (Challenger?) apparently was almost as popular as Holmes for a period of time. Has any actor made more RMT appearances than Norman Rose? I doubt it. And he is my favorite. He was a true professional with a great voice. This episode is enjoyable and it seemed to get darker in tone as it progressed. What antics did Rose's character engage in during the lecture? I must have missed it somehow. I appreciate the fact that RMT did not always have nice, happy, everything explained totally, endings. I would imagine that most fans of RMT are also fans of The Twilight Zone. I wonder how many fans of these shows have also read the EC comics such as Tales from the Crypt.

Apparently Robert Dryden holds the record for most RMT appearances but Norman Rose was undoubtedly one of the greats. And the CBS library (source of the Twilight Zone scores)was heavily used to great effect.RMT would not have had the budget for original scoring. The cue Howard Stern referred to was composed by Fred Steiner for the TZ episode "King Nine Will Not Return."

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